Located in the old Siekmann and Moule wheat store built in 1859, the oldest building still standing in Saddleworth and once the largest store north of Gawler, the museum houses and maintains the history of Saddleworth and the nearby towns of Waterloo, Marrabel and Manoora.
Extended in 1873, the original store also housed the town’s first Post Office while the National Bank operated from one room. Today the museum is community-owned and operated by the Saddleworth & Districts Historical Society. It pays tribute to many communities that have long since disappeared.
In the main room, there is a large collection of memorabilia relating to the Post Office both in Saddleworth and the surrounding districts as well as other businesses, organisations and farming communities including Honour Rolls and other local historical military material. Highlights are the early labour saving dishwasher dating from 1923 and used on nearby Drumcalpin Station, and a rare symphonium, a kind of early mechanical juke box used at the Marrabel Hotel. At the side of the main room, there are domestic room settings; and a research room including memorabilia from the early years of the local branch of the Women’s Agricultural Bureau.
At the back of the museum there is a new under cover shed that houses laundry memorabilia as well as an extensive machinery collection, including stationary engines, horse-drawn carriages and tractors. For example, there is a tray top trolley manufactured in Adelaide in 1922 by TS and BG Gum for local farmer Martin Videon. Martin brought his bride Ernestine after their marriage from Halbury to Marrabel with all their possessions including a pianola, a dining table, and apparently various livestock. The trolley was later used throughout their marriage for carting bagged grain and sheaved hay. There is also a unique US-made Moline Universal Tractor dating from 1918.
Saddleworth is a small town in the Mid North region of South Australia, in the Gilbert Valley, approximately 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. Its name is derived from the home of the first settler, Englishman James Masters who took up an area of land from Riverton to Saddleworth and Auburn as a sheep run in 1840. He built his house approximately 1 km north of Riverton and called it Saddleworth Lodge, named after his former hometown of Saddleworth, in the West Riding of Yorkshire.
With discovery of copper at Burra, Saddleworth became one of a number of small towns along routes used transport the copper to Adelaide. Each of the towns was approximately 7 miles apart, about as far as the bullock teams could travel in a day.
More photos of the museum can be found here
2nd and 4th Sundays each month, 11am - 3pm or by appointment